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ShipStation’s time-saving hacks automate complex shipping procedures

(Source: Bigstock.)

Shipping strategy has a direct impact on consumer satisfaction, and for many buyers the decision to purchase again is directly correlated with the shipping experience. Critically, 70 per cent of consumers say that poor delivery experience negatively impacts the impression of the retailer, rather than the carrier. This is a powerful deterrent for returning customers, even if it’s the carrier at fault.

According to ShipStation’s ANZ sales manager Sophia Pope, shipping is something that should not be overlooked or left to the last minute of a busy period. Setting up a shipping strategy in advance and investing in a system that can scale with your business is extremely important. With shipping, there are several areas where poor systems can mean lost time and a negative customer experience. A robust shipping management system such as ShipStation can help avoid the negative impact of poor shipping protocols on your business. 

Manually entering tracking information and communicating with customers is a huge time vortex. Many merchants take their parcels to a carrier in exchange for a long list of tracking numbers, which they then have to manually input back into their selling channel. They then communicate these figures to customers by email, again manually entering tracking details.

ShipStation automates this whole process. Being connected directly to multiple carriers and your selling channel, printing labels is a couple of clicks away, and there’s no need to manually enter order data or tracking numbers. While printing more than one label at a time is difficult with many portals and platforms, with ShipStation you can print up to 500 labels in one fell swoop across multiple carriers.

Retailers often need to work out which carriers should ship each order based on a complex matrix of best prices and services. Without an automated system, this decision-making process can take hours and heavily rely on personal knowledge. ShipStation’s automation rules can determine which carriers deliver the best service considering all the data points – from shipping service type to area code – automatically designating the optimal carrier for any particular delivery. This includes a service mapping feature that can automatically set one preferred carrier for a certain delivery type, such as express delivery service.

Customer service enquiries can be an enormous drain on time if you don’t have a unified shipping system in place. Under ShipStation’s shipments grid, order numbers are matched to tracking numbers, making it quick and easy for customer service queries to be answered. On the back of that, customer communication emails are automatically sent whenever you process a label, reducing customer service queries in the first place.

Having a simple returns portal eliminates extra demands on staff, and encourages repeat purchase behaviour for 69 per cent of consumers. A simple self-service portal for returns improves the customer experience and decreases staff costs. ShipStation offers a brandable returns portal in the form of a simple link that merchants can share with customers. The customer inputs their order number and postcode, selects which item they’d like to return, and this will allow them to print a label to make the product return seamlessly.

All these features have emerged out of ShipStation’s particular obsession with solving shipping issues for retailers and discovering ways to scale up these solutions. They’re designed to fit retailers of all shapes and sizes to save time and facilitate label printing at the utmost convenience, maximising time efficiency. ShipStation is constantly talking to businesses and iterating on their feedback to ensure its features are optimal based on a full understanding of what e-commerce retailers need most. In many cases, saving time via automated shipping processes is the key to allowing resources to be redeployed to the core elements of the business.

To start your 30-day trial with ShipStation, click here.